Findlay officials approve gas drilling plan at Pittsburgh International Airport

Findlay supervisors voted 3-0 tonight to approve Consol Energy’s plan to drill up to 60 natural gas wells from six pads on about 8,800 acres at Pittsburgh International Airport.

Approval was subject to 23 conditions, including limits on noise and working hours, establishment of a public complaint hotline and a requirement that air monitoring occur throughout drilling operations.

The board also granted a limited waiver to allow temporary worker housing at the well sites.

“Our main goal will be to impose the absolutely strictest and safest conditions in the permit applications,” supervisors Chairman Thomas Gallant said.

Mr. Gallant wanted to require that Consol move a planned well pad farther from the Imperial Pointe neighborhood, as residents had requested. But neither board member Janet Craig nor member Ray Chappell seconded his motion to add that to the conditions.

“All we asked is Consol concede one little item, and they refused to do so,” said Imperial Pointe resident Allen Fiedler, one of 50 people who attended the meeting.

“I am incredibly disappointed with the ultimate decision,” resident Stacy Faulk said.

In a statement, Consol Energy president Nick DeIuliis said the airport project will be “a model for the entire nation in safely and responsibly developing our natural gas resources to drive economic growth.”

Over 20 years, Allegheny County is expected to gain $500 million from the project, which will yield an estimated 280 billion to 800 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Plans are for the six pads to accommodate 45 Marcellus Shale and 15 Upper Devonian wells.

Andrea Iglar, freelance writer:

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